Featuring Pleasanton

Moviemaker to shoot 'teen awareness' film in his hometown

Adam Gold knows the ins and outs of being a teenager in Pleasanton - and wants to point out some problems, hoping it will lead to solutions. He grew up here plus recently worked as a substitute teacher at Foothill High and Pleasanton Middle School.

"It was astonishing at PMS, the things I heard," said Gold, 27. Middle school kids are now faced with drinking, drugs and sex - bad choices that he didn't face until high school.

"It kind of scared me," he said. "Things appeared to have gotten worse. It feels like things are kind of spiraling."

"I saw my students at First Wednesday - they were drunk and on drugs," he added. "When I was in school, there was a small group of people binge drinking. Now that is mainstream."

Gold has written a 117-page script for a movie titled "Clandestine," which takes place in Pleasanton and will be filmed here. He plans to produce it himself in association with other production companies, using the contacts he made as an actor in Los Angeles after graduating from San Diego State University in 2004.

"It's based on real life," he said. "It's real. It's relatable."

"There are a lot of things that are going on under the radar," he explained. "People assume, 'I'm in this great town.' But kids are bored, and they have access to a lot of trouble."

Sports can help kids keep busy, Gold said, but he played varsity football, tennis and baseball and still found plenty of time to act irresponsibly. Now he wants to help today's young people avoid the mistakes he made.

Gold attended Fairlands Elementary, Harvest Park Middle School and Amador Valley High.

"I love Pleasanton. I think it's the perfect place to raise a family," he said. "I knew I was living the life. I have a great family. So why was I selling and using drugs? Nothing mattered to me."

He noted that "Every 15 Minutes," the anti-drinking and driving program, should be presented to middle schoolers, not juniors and seniors in high school.

"It's too late - they're already drinking and driving," he said.

Despite the "seedy underbelly" of Pleasanton that he sees, Gold thinks kids can be saved from his mistakes.

"We do have the ability to make change," he said. "Solutions come from awareness."

"I didn't want to make a scare tactic film," he added. "I want to bring awareness to the problem."

He said studios have contacted him about buying the script for "Clandestine," but he doesn't want to lose control of it. He wants the movie to be made in Pleasanton, using local talent, although its lessons will apply to upper-class suburbs everywhere. The project will provide internships for kids to work on the movie, using anyone who submits a resume and is serious about the work. He hopes it will help teens to get involved.

Gold is holding a series of investor parties starting May 16 at the Karma Fusion Lounge in Grafton Station in Dublin. He has budgeted the film at roughly $250,000.

"I have a really great cast of up-and-coming Hollywood actors," he said.

Brittany Snow is set to play the lead female, he said, and he is close to getting a commitment from a director.

"I've been putting it out there and good things happen every day," he said. "Everyone is onboard because they love the project."

He's in contact with the school district and Mayor Jennifer Hosterman and has given her the script to read.

"Adam wants to illuminate and share with us his story of what he sees regarding youth and their struggles," said Hosterman. "I think he's got every opportunity to produce something that will really be meaningful that not only the community of Pleasanton will embrace."

Gold describes "Clandestine" as a "featurementary," a feature film based on real events. Visit to learn more about it. Gold said he was inspired by "Requiem for a Dream," which highlights four individuals and their addiction to drugs.

"I've made multiple mistakes in my life that, looking back, I regret," said Gold. "I feel like this is my repayment to society."

He would like kids to enjoy being kids - to enjoy the ride.

"I'm happy helping kids," Gold added. "They need to find their passion - and stay out of trouble."

"Clandestine" provides an intimate snapshot of the shocking lifestyle of contemporary suburban adolescents. 'Clandestine' is set in an Alpha Dog environment, combining a 'Goodfellas' mentality, the irony of 'Blow,' and the careless fun and camaraderie of 'Entourage.'" Learn more at

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by Dan
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on May 14, 2010 at 8:06 pm

This guy is quoted saying he's used and sold drugs in Pleasanton right after we're told he's been a substitute in our middle and high schools. Someone at the school district needs to take note of this

Like this comment
Posted by Former Amador Classmate
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 14, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Great guy! Wasn't his name Goldstein just a few years ago?

Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 14, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Good luck. I hope you succeed.

Like this comment
Posted by Former Classmate
a resident of Birdland
on May 14, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Interesting name change. His name was different in high school. He has also been a sub in a Kindergarten classroom and just had the kids watching movies.

I understand that everyone has a past and it shouldn't stop them from getting a job if it was a violent or along those line offense BUT I do think that is something personal that shouldn't be shared. Students he is going to be teaching are going to read this. As a soon to be graduating teacher, I find it inappropriate and I wouldn't want him teaching my child. Life lessons learned or not.

Plus I knew him in high school and he definitly got into his fair share of trouble!

Like this comment
Posted by letsgo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 14, 2010 at 10:43 pm

It was probably too much homework that drove him to drugs

Like this comment
Posted by HP Alum
a resident of Ironwood
on May 15, 2010 at 9:00 am

Wow, thank you Facebook for circulating a link like this to me. This is a poor advertisement and even poorer news. Am I the only one that read the description of this film and rolled my eyes...probably because Id like to think that nobody ever does or should read this.

"'Clandestine' is set in an Alpha Dog environment, combining a 'Goodfellas' mentality, the irony of 'Blow,' and the careless fun and camaraderie of 'Entourage.'" Learn more at"

How about the film is about a pretentious suburban kid who grows up goes to college and thinks it deep to talk about the fact he is a pretentious suburban kid. The definition of a bored 20-something with a BA in film who didnt get into film school.

Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 15, 2010 at 9:33 am

Many substitute teachers have kids watching movies. This is a California phenomenon. I know for a fact, in two states I have personal experience with, substitute teachers are expected to teach. Not here.
If you investigate the procedure for hiring substitutes in Pleasanton, you will find that they are 'screened' in a group interview. The group interview consists of the potential subs being taught the procedures and policies. They barely have to speak during the 'interview'. Of course, there are fingerprints and background checks, but basically, bizarre people are hired as substitute teachers in Pleasanton. Do you talk to your kids? Do they talk to you? Haven't you heard the stories of some of these strange people who are hired as subs?

Like this comment
Posted by ccwc
a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 15, 2010 at 10:48 am

Don't drag our beautiful city into your 'movie'. Get a life!

Like this comment
Posted by MF
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 15, 2010 at 11:41 am

Thank you Pleasanton Weekly, for providing me a great laugh.

I think everyone that went to school in Pleasanton had the idea that our little bubble would be the perfect setting for a movie, but I would use the "OC" "Mailibu's Most Wanted" and "The Wonder Years" for my jumping point. Seriously though, Adam Goldstein, do you have an original bone in your body?

Like this comment
Posted by Clueless
a resident of Birdland
on May 15, 2010 at 11:47 am

How about Paula Creamer go make a movie and teach our youngster how to overcome hardship and become successful?

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 15, 2010 at 11:51 am

go for it Adam...forget the above losers! HOORAY!

Like this comment
Posted by ccwc
a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 15, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Cholo - what do you mean 'losers' - you must not be a longtime Pleasanton resident! No one is a 'loser'. How dare you!

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 15, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Web Link ccwc: I didn't know you are such good dancer! tee hee hee, tee hee hee...

Like this comment
Posted by Are you kidding me
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 15, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Hey Adam, I am in disbelief reading this article. You are only about 6 years younger than myself and I grew up in Pleasanton Meadows as well. I attended the exact same schools as you and if you only started noticing the drinking, drugs and sex in high school you must have been very sheltered. I graduated Harvest Park in 1991 and at that point I had already been around it. I remember drinking back in those days, always had friends around me that got high and believe me, people our age were having sex at that time. I am sure kids in elementary school are already experimenting with it at this point. You should watch the ABC family show "The Secret Life of The American Teenager". That show is true life for these kids now a days!

Like this comment
Posted by Allison
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on May 15, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Mr. Gold, your my favorite substitute! Your the best!

Like this comment
Posted by Michael
a resident of Foothill Place
on May 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Mr. Gold is doing a brave and noble thing. I respect him for this. Being a part of the wrong group really takes its toll. The children of Pleasanton need a wake-up call. We are the future and need to make the right choices. And by doing this, Mr.Gold is taking a big step in changing things.

Like this comment
Posted by pleasanton_rez
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on May 16, 2010 at 1:01 am

Pleasanton does have a dark side to it that is entirely ignored. We like to pretend that everything is great and all our teenagers go to college and get good jobs. But that's not the case. I've gone to parties in Pleasanton where kids are snorting coke and kids go to the ridge to do shrooms. Most kids have access to a lot of money and very little parental supervision which makes it the perfect breeding ground for addiction. I know amador alum who are current heroin users; there have been several Amador students commit suicide over these past couple of years and all we do is ask ourselves "How could that happen?" and we never ask any further about what sort of issues actually exist in our community.

Like this comment
Posted by Roberta
a resident of Ponderosa
on May 16, 2010 at 2:26 am

Go for it Mr. Gold... not only our kids need the wakeup call, parents too. It is very sad that parents shut their eyes and pretend their kids are angels.

Like this comment
Posted by pleasanton youth
a resident of Birdland
on May 17, 2010 at 1:10 am

Those hating on Mr. Gold are probably parents of kids that he describes in his movie. Open up your eyes and stop being ignorant! Go for it Mr. G!

Like this comment
Posted by Pete Townsin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 17, 2010 at 1:38 am

"Deserves a second chance", "I don't want him teaching MY kids"...these quotes only emphasize the importance of a film like Clandestine to open the eyes of all the "proud parents of a honor role students". Wake up and smell the opium parents...Your kid doesn't have allergies, he's high...Your kid didn't get food poisoning, he's hung over...your kid didn't scream while peeing because he saw a mouse, he had sex with the "soon to be teacher" listed below. Adam Gold isn't a rebel, thug, or "bad seed". He's your son, your daughters boyfriend, and the nice young boy leading the prayers at your local church. Living in a rich town like Pleasanton doesn't mean your kids are going to stay out of trouble, rather they have the money to pay for expensive trouble...This film is not about looking back on the past of one adolescent, its about spreading awareness on the present of all adolescents.

Like this comment
Posted by HowAmusing
a resident of Ruby Hill
on May 17, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I don't have kids so, in some regard, I haven't got a dog in this fight. I'll also be moving out to Europe so I probably also don't have much to lose by speaking my mind.

I went through the synopsis and it came across as C-grade material. Some elements reminded me of the 2002 movie "Ken Park" and the rest of it were like snippets from failed TV shows that I can't even remember anymore.

I second Dan who has concerns that this fellow used to sell drugs. I would hope that Mr. Goldstein has paid his debt to society and reformed himself. I would also hope that the PUSD has carefully examined his qualifications as a substitute teacher.

Many of my friends' middle and high-school children tell me that there are these sorts of activities going on. Some participate but many don't. I think Mr. Goldstein is like a blind Brahmin assessing an elephant; except that this movie will give him a megaphone for his perspective if the city council greenlights it. Do they get some sort of financial incentive if they do?

MF is also right, Pleasanton seems about as exciting a backdrop for a movie of this sort as cardboard would be the main ingredient for a gourmet panini. Not that Pleasanton is unpleasant but rather it lacks that certain je ne sais quoi for this kind of a film. A lot of cities in the East Bay and South Bay are like that.

Honestly people, can't your find more constructive and efficient ways to deal with the social challenges of raising kids without having to fund a poor-quality movie that may paint the town in a bad light? There's a lot of material out there. There are many hours in a day to engage your kids.

Like this comment
Posted by FTW
a resident of Avila
on May 17, 2010 at 1:22 pm

This isn't a "teen awareness" film. It's a cheap melodrama being marketed as one in order to get funding.

Like this comment
Posted by Mrs. Substitute
a resident of Stoneridge
on May 17, 2010 at 1:55 pm

I am a sub in all the schools (k-12) in PUSD. 99% of the time I teach what the regular teacher puts on their sub plans. Blame the teacher if your child watches movies. We have to follow their lesson plans. If they want a movie then we show it. We are not allowed to bring our own movies. I guess if you follow the rules!!! I don't like seeing bad stuff about's a tough job and a small handful of students are brats when it comes to a sub. Thank goodness I like my job. Just try it sometime, but pray before you enter a never know what you're walking into!!!

Like this comment
Posted by Foothill03
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on May 17, 2010 at 3:32 pm

To think this film will actually address real ills within our community is laughable, just read the plot. FTW had it just right, the only reason this film is being marketed as preaching "awareness" is to get funding. Open your eyes:

"Clandestine is set in an Alpha Dog environment, combining a Goodfellas mentality, the irony of Blow, and the careless fun and camaraderie of Entourage."

Sounds like quite the embellishment to me. If you want to make a movie about teen drug use in affluent communities, start with a documentary, not some unoriginal gangster/drug dealing movie painting Pleasanton in a bad light.

Like this comment
Posted by Adam
a resident of West of Foothill
on May 17, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Thank you to all that gave their opinions on the article. I have received many emails and been contacted by numerous young adults and concerned parents who understand the value in a film like Clandestine. I thank all supporters of the film. My goal is to tell a great story that may positively impact some lives. Yes this is a movie and there is a lot of entertainment pumped into the script at this point, but there is also a message. To those who doubt my intentions, I only hope that you take the time to see the film before you criticize any further.

Like this comment
Posted by FHS grad and former highschool peer
a resident of Parkside
on May 18, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Oh, where to begin...

I'm shocked that you have the audacity to drive this community's good name through the mud for a buck. Clearly, you're selling out... which perhaps explains why you dropped the stein from your last name.
This is not an adequate repayment to society, Goldstein. You do not take your personal problems and publically blame them on a community that has done nothing but nuture your dreams and provide you with the necessary resources to be successful. From your teachers, coaches, and parents you were constantly and actively cultivated to be more than average. What you choose to make of all of their hard work, time, and effort is entirely up to you. Casting a shadow over Pleasanton by portraing it as a place full of bored and spoiled rich kids with neglectful and oblivious parents is a serious diservice.
This is my home. This is YOUR home. Have some respect.

Like this comment
Posted by Youknowme
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on May 20, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Mr. Gold is one of the coolest nicest people I have ever met. What people need to realize is that all of us have done somthing bad, from stealing gum from the corner market to smoking pot. Sure he had some ups and downs, but he wants to make it clear to other kids that your life could become very difficult if you make the wrong decisions. I'm very excited for Mr. Gold to be filming this in Pleasanton, and for all you haters..get a life and don't go hating on people for actually doing somthing in their life.

Like this comment
Posted by Charlie Murphy
a resident of Grey Eagle Estates
on May 25, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Nice work Adam, I think bringing this idea to a small town like pleasanton makes it more personal for families and teens to understand what goes on in a town like this.... I think people are misunderstanding the idea of this film...this film is to show life growing up in a small town, not neccessarily Pleasanton, CA. This movie covers the different problems that occur in small towns across the United States, it just so happens to be that an individual from Pleasanton, who has a solid mind and idea, can use this perfect small city as a back drop for his film. Give it a chance people...Adam is an intelligent person with a good head on his shoulder, I highly doubt he would bring a film to Pleasanton with hopes to destroy its name...

Like this comment
Posted by Hi Adam
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 30, 2010 at 10:45 am

Hi Adam!

Like this comment
Posted by Maja7
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 30, 2010 at 9:06 pm

I don't know Adam Gold. But I do know that I grew up in this town and I am now with my husband raising our four children in Pleasanton. This town has changed as has the world. We, as parents, need to open our eyes, spend time with our children and know what they are doing and with whom.Too many parents in P-town are too busy keeping a two-career family going to be truly involved with their kids. I see children out on their own without parents. Where are the parents? Why are you not with your children, the blessing of your life?

One of the comments said something like Adam Gold was trying "to drag Pleasanton threw the mud". And since we live in a world nowadays where we are all 'glued' to a monitor or some kind, it sounds like he wants to use his movie to get to us.I think he's trying to open up your eyes; see what we are in denial about.Well, as a parent of 4 between the ages of 16 & 8 years old; I am shocked and horrified with the things that my children have to deal with on a daily basis in their schools. Being laughed at because they've never been drunk? Laughed at/questioned because they haven't had sex, yet?

Where are the parents in this town?Wake up our children need us!!!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Sandia Livermore continues growing
By Tim Hunt | 1 comment | 995 views